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No Flowers!

If there's one subject that we're told not to photograph for stock photography, it's flowers. And yet many of us take great joy in practicing our art and technique on a subject that does not require a model or property release. Moreover, flowers are ubiquitous: they are everywhere. How dull would life be without the beauty of flowers?

Aquilegia Vulgaris Columbine, Granny's Bonnet - portrait view wi

My first ever sale in stock photography (albeit not on DT) was of flowers. In fact most of my stock sales have been of flowers and plants. Maybe it's because I go against the advice of those much more experienced--and talented--than me, and continue to upload images of blooms, foliage and flowers.

Diminishing Line of Daffodils - Vertical

My point is, whilst you are learning the craft of photography, flowers can be fantastic subjects to shoot. Unless you're photographing cut stems bought right from the store, flowers can prove to be quite challenging to newbie photographers. Just the slightest breeze can blur details and natural light changes in a heartbeat. Deciding on the best depth of field and whether to adopt a top view or low angle shot are decisions that every photographer experiments with.

Bee on Blue Flowers

Yes, the stock photography market may well be saturated with millions of images of flowers, but there is inspiration from this subject to be found everywhere. Even the most seasoned, professional photographers have to grow and develop their skills. Why not practice you're new technique, try out that new lens, experiment with a dynamic perspective on the blooms in your garden (or local park) and maybe surprise yourself at how something so "done" can be so liberating!

Daisy flower

Thanks for reading, and happy shooting :)

Photo credits: Jennifer Jordan.

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June 17, 2016


Thought I'd just check back here and how wonderful to see so many more comments left on this old blog post. Really lovely to receive such encouraging feedback. Thanks everyone :-)

September 03, 2015


My first sale here on DT was of flowers, too :)

September 02, 2015


Wonderful.............. cards need flowers and people buy for Mother's day, birthdays, wedding cards, Easter cards............. I've sold lots of flowers............ try an unusual background.
Good blog article. David

August 30, 2015


Until I read your blog, I'm kind a bit pessimistic with flowers, but now, I should try more. thanks!

August 30, 2015


I also like to photograph lots of flowers and get some sales to them too.

 Background of many poinsettia flowers 
Background of many poinsettia flowers

August 29, 2015


Well said. Till today for me on DT, two sales, two flowers pics...
My best wishes for sales to everyone !

August 29, 2015


I get flowers accepted too.
Hyacinth flower

August 27, 2015


sometimes i get flowers accepted too ;) And also sometimes i sell flower-pictures *smile*

My personal favorit of my images is this smartphone-Picture of a Cactus Flower:
 Yellow Cactus Flower 

August 27, 2015


I can not agree more, flowers are such beauties and a recent trip to the Netherlands provided plenty of picture perfect opportunities!

August 26, 2015


I love flowers and take photos of them too! I have sold several flowers so keep up your good work!

August 21, 2015


My best photo is flower!
 Summer wildflowers 

August 19, 2015


and I believe common subjects can also sell well if captured in uncommon way
Flower Pick

August 17, 2015


You can't help it sometimes even if they don't sell so much...

 Rose of Siam 

August 12, 2015


This is exactly how I played around with setting. Learning about my camera and lenses. Thank for the advise.

August 10, 2015


Beautiful images.I agree completely with you!Is dificult to shot and to sale.My only flower sale
 Poppies spring flowers with blue sky background 

August 10, 2015


Great photos, some good advice from fellow DT members too. I too have sold flower photos. I agree that keywording, research and good descriptions help get your photo out there. Sometimes it's just pure luck too. Happy flower shooting everyone! :)

August 08, 2015


I still think there is merit in the stock agencies taking flower images. Gardening is a big hobby enjoyed by people of all ages, race, & gender. It is also a big market. I agree we have enough of the common flowers but there are hundreds of varieties that are not represented by even one photo. For example there are thousands of different daylily hybrids that are unique and beautiful but only the common orange and a handful of others are there to represent. On Dreamstime there is one page of results when you search daylily hybrid and 7 of them aren't daylilies at all!

August 08, 2015


Thanks to everyone who has read my post and taken the time to leave such wonderful and encouraging comments. Your posts certainly suggest that well executed photos of flowers, correctly identified and tagged, are still in demand. Even if these images don't become your best sellers, still have fun developing your skills capturing the beauty of flowers :)

August 07, 2015


It is really hard to get flower accepted. This is my last one
 Blue agapanthus 

August 07, 2015


I also put up a photo of a hibiscus bush and it sold within two days. Made me very happy.
 White Hibiscus Bush 

August 06, 2015


Your work is gorgeous, I too enjoy photographing flowers and butterflies, I have managed to sell a few too. I agree, its all in the keywords too, sometimes I include scientific names and a good description, (Ihope!) but I have made over $400 here so far and I am pleased with that.

August 06, 2015


Flowers are always pretty! Some of the greatest works of art have been paintings of flowers-why not great photos of flowers?

August 05, 2015


I also agree!
I have many pictures of flowers and have even managed to sell a few!
Flowers are always fun subjects-especially in a country that has snow for 5-6 months of the year.
Your photos are very nice-best of luck!

August 05, 2015


So true! I have sold quite a few flower pictures. Keep up the good work.

August 05, 2015


I love this article and couldn't agree with it more! I have had alot of luck selling pictures of flowers on other sites as well and my first image sold was a picture of a blanketflower. Thanks for the encouragement!

August 04, 2015


I agree. Why not photograph what pleases you? Chances are, it will show and you might get sales! I am about to post some wild flowers... I'll go ahead anyway. I don't care too much about the money. It's an achievement to be accepted. Someone said the same about "butterflies". The market is saturated, but I went ahead and made a sale after about a week!--and sold a couple more since. So defy the odds. To increase your chances of being found in that maze of pictures, take care with keywording and describing. It might make a difference. Give an accurate description of the shot, include the plant species, do a little research... anything that will make it easier to find your picture.

August 04, 2015


Great reading this! I also love flowers :)

August 04, 2015


Yes! You are absolutely right about this! Some of my best selling photos are dandelions and chamomiles ;-)

August 04, 2015


Just the facts.....There are 4,642 pages of flower shots on Dreamstime alone. Each page has a minimum of 150 photos.
4,642 X 150= 696,300 flower shots on DT. The odds are not good if you want to make some money.

August 04, 2015


Here's my latest one.

   Morning Glory Flower Pair   

Practice related image searches